How to keep your New Year’s Resolutions

Nigel Bennett

Managing Director

New Year’s Resolutions seem to be universally hard to keep. Everyone has the best of intentions on the 1st January but by February, things are starting to wane. 

So how do you make a New Year’s Resolution that you will keep this year?

Make it SMART

When you set your resolution you need to make sure that it is SMART – Specific, Measurable, Awesome, Realistic, Time-bound. This will give you a much greater chance of achieving it. Find out more about SMART goals here.

Keep it positive

“Don’t think of a pink elephant!”

Are you thinking of a pink elephant? This is because our minds naturally struggle to process negative language. It processes it as a positive and then cognitively turns it negative.

Therefore when we set our New Year’s Resolutions we need to make sure we don’t phrase them in a negative way. If your resolution is “I won’t eat chocolate”, all your mind is going to hear is “eat chocolate”.  A more effective way of phrasing it could be “I’m going to eat more fruit and vegetables”. This way you are thinking positively about your goal and the actions you need to take to achieve it.

Overcome your limiting beliefs

Have you ever thought to yourself “I’m not the sort of person who can do that”?

This is a limiting belief which has probably been reinforced in your subconscious mind over and over again by your actions, thoughts and words that you are the sort of person who “can’t do that”.

By constantly repeating to yourself “I can’t do that” or “I am no good at that”, it will become imbedded in your subconscious mind that it is fact.

Instead if you regularly read, say aloud, or mentally visualise achieving your resolution, you can start to change your thinking. 

Top Tip

Set your computer passwords at work to something related to your goal. That way every time you log on you're reminding yourself and your subconscious of your goal.

Changing your habits

When we are trying to stick to our New Year’s resolutions we are often faced with habits of behaviour that are telling us to do the complete opposite. Our blog next week will focus on how we can change these bad habits into good habits that work with us in achieving our goals.

This blog is based on Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman and Head Strong: How to Get Physically and Mentally Fit by Tony Buzan.

If you would like any further advice on setting business and personal goals contact us on 0161 476 8276 or email

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